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Lusaka, Monday, October 16, 2017: The Maritime Security Programme (MASE) under the Governance, Peace and Security Unit at COMESA Secretariat recently conducted an intensive training on Financial Investigation and Asset Recovery for 25 participants from the region.

The training is part of the larger European Union-funded MASE which is implemented by four Regional Organizations.  COMESA has been implementing a component that is designed to build the region’s capacity to disrupt the financial networks of pirate leaders and their financiers while also addressing the structural vulnerability factors and minimize the economic impact of piracy.

Specifically, the programme addresses issues around money laundering and supports the strengthening of the analytical capacity of the financial intelligence units of respective member states; the review and amendment of Anti-money laundering laws to ensure that they are aligned to international standards as set by the Financial Action Task Force; enhance collaboration between and within jurisdictions and support to the law enforcement.

The holding of the training took into consideration that money laundering is a transnational crime that transcends different jurisdictions.  It was, therefore, intended that the training would ensure that weak points in the fight against money laundering as well as safe havens for money launderers are identified and action taken to address any challenges.  In addition, the training took place within the context that criminals are ever devising new methods to hide the proceeds of their criminal activities and therefore the law enforcement need to be kept abreast on the various techniques of financial investigation as well as asset recovery.

The training, conducted by the Basil Institute of Governance, was held in Livingstone, Zambia on 9th to 13th October 2017.

Representatives from Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Tanzania and Zambia participated in the training.